#320 When your friend calls to tell you they got home safe

Say goodbye.

Watch your high school pal slowly fade into the foggy shadows at the park after a long night catching up on the swings. Close the cab door on Grandma after the smoky bingo parlor clears out and watch her swerve down wet-slicked roads out of sight. Flick on the porch lights as your late-night college chat dissolves into dawn and your friends throw their hoodies on to shiver and slide their way home.

Brush your teeth, wash your face, check your watch … and wonder. You’re ready for bed but that feeling in your head makes you suddenly stop before slumber. You stare at the night, you flip on the light, and you worry with fright until —

The phone rings.

AWESOME!

Check out The Top 1000.

Photos from: here and here

Comments Off

Filed under Uncategorized

#321 Taking the day off on your birthday

Once upon a time I ran a sandwich shop.

Yes, it was back in the early 00’s when I was a mayo-squirting kingpin working in the sticky, mustard-smeared sandwich underbelly. Surrounding me were a hodgepodge of acne-covered teenage longhairs who clocked in each day to slice tomatoes, chop green peppers, and fill paper cups right to the foamy brim.

Now, it was just a small shop in the corner of a dusty plaza in the suburbs and we had maybe a dozen folks on payroll, tops. As you can imagine, we got tight pretty quickly and little social norms started bubbling up — things like last one there gets the morning coffees, sobbing uncontrollably while chopping onions is completely acceptable, and everyone dresses up in full costume on Halloween.

Of course, by far and away the most popular house rule we developed was everyone gets their birthday off. It was pretty easy to schedule and the excitement leading up to those big days gave us all giddy little schoolkid highs.

Nope, we don’t get many birthdays on this spinny wet rock so let’s try to take them off.

AWESOME!

 

Photos from: here, here, and here

Comments Off

Filed under Uncategorized

#322 Atoms

They make everything.

AWESOME!

Photo from: here

Comments Off

Filed under Uncategorized

#323 The sound of a freshly cracked egg hitting a hot frying pan

Get crackin’.

Groggy and sore with jagged bedhead and an achy back you shuffle to the kitchen in stained sweats and mindlessly flick on the stove. Next it’s time to pop open the fridge and squint into the bright light before snagging some butter and the egg carton so you can get down to business. After tossing some butter on the crusty frying pan you swig some OJ and pick at your eyes while waiting till everything starts melting and bubbling. As the coils glow red the soft scents of melted butter slowly swirl and steam around you and that’s when you know it’s time.

Break a leg, crack that egg, and let the simmering sizzling begin.

AWESOME!

Photo from: here

Comments Off

Filed under Uncategorized

#324 Laughing at a stranger with another stranger

They’re everywhere.
.
They’re on every bus we ride, sitting in every doctor’s office, and standing behind every take-out counter. They’re beside us on the sidewalk, in front of us at the ballgame, and behind us at the movies.
.
Yes, you all know who I’m talking about.
.
Weirdos.
.
Weirdos are holding kittens on leashes on the bus wearing giant fur hats, weirdos are talking gossip on their cell phone in the library, weirdos are wearing headphones and singing the Perfect Strangers theme song.
.
And you know how I know weirdos are everywhere? Because we’re weirdos too, my friend. I’m a weirdo, you’re a weirdo, so let’s just accept it and move on.
.
Now, nothing’s more fun than spotting a weirdo and trading the classic “Do you see what I see?” look with another stranger. Yes, when that connection snaps it’s like you’re suddenly surrounded by a close friend and chuckling at a little absurdity in the middle of the big absurdity of it all. Yes, laughing at a stranger with another stranger makes your sighting a little more real, a little more funny, and a lot more
.
AWESOME!
.Photos from: here

Comments Off

Filed under Uncategorized

#325 Jumping through the sprinkler in your bathing suit

Snap on the spandex, turn on the hose, and let’s get down to business.

Jumping through the sprinkler in your bathing suit is one of the greatest joys of childhood. Your backyard turns into a Waterpark as you pull off one of these classic moves:

1.The Original. Get the sprinkler sprinkling and motor at it full throttle before jumping as high as you can right through that wall of water. No fear.

2. The Gymnast. Flipping over the sprinkler with wobbly cartwheels or high-flying somersaults is an advanced move which may result in accidental wetface, separated shoulders, or spontaneous applause from the gallery.

3. The Leapfrog. Here’s where you convince your little brother or sister to stand beside the sprinkler and then run and jump over them. Careful, though — nobody likes a wet crotch to the back of the head.

4. The Spray Gun. Also known as having your big brother pick up the sprinkler and chase you around the yard while singing the Contra theme song.

5. The Slow Shower. This is when you stand still in one place with your eyes closed and let the water calmly hit your face. Also known as your Backyard Zen moment.

Of course, there are more, there are many more — after all, you could be jumping one of those rat-a-tat-tat sprinklers in the park or running along one of those misty green ones that look like a garden hose with pinholes in it. But no matter your style and no matter your taste, it’s always a beautiful moment of sparkly-eyed fun when you and your friends go outside under the sun to run around the sprinkler till the day is done.

AWESOME!

Photos from: here, here, here, and here

Comments Off

Filed under Uncategorized

#326 Slipping in the tub but catching yourself at the last second

You just about took a nude and soapy tumble into that slippery ceramic tub.

But then you didn’t.

AWESOME!

Photo from: here

Comments Off

Filed under Uncategorized

#327 When you hit something with your car and there’s somehow no damage

Bumping bumpers is a bummer.

Couple years ago my friend Allison was wheeling her rusty bucket into the library when she crashed into the parked car in front of her. When she got out to inspect the damage she noticed she’d put a big bruise on the other guy but came out clean herself. Worried, she went inside and found her victim before spending three weeks and almost a thousand bucks to finally straighten out his car and her conscience.

Now of course, wouldn’t you know it but a couple months later the same thing happened in reverse. Popping out of a grocery store holding a couple big bags of food, she noticed a big bump in her side door. Unfortunately, this time there was no note, no message, and no way to find out what happened so she unhappily shrugged and drove home in her classy new Dentmobile.

Allison’s sad tale is a reminder we’re always bumping things and we never really know which way they’ll turn out. Yes, whether you’re scraping side mirrors on the garage, knocking garbage cans over on Monday morning, or just kissing car doors in the parking lot, it’s always a heart-pounding moment until you scope the scene.

The moment just before you check out the damage is awful.

The moment just after you see there isn’t any is

AWESOME!

Photos from: here and here

Comments Off

Filed under Uncategorized

#328 The smell of a library

Come on in.

Pull open the wooden door with those giant oversized handles that are smooth and worn down to a light brown finish. Drag your boots over the dirty green carpeted floor that bubbles up in the corners and splashes tiny dust clouds into shimmery orange sunbeams with every step. Feel the calm and comforting library quiet settle like a blanket over your body and your brain as you shuffle past the counters and make your way inside…

Massive atlases, worn-out hardcovers, and crinkly plastiwrapped kid’s books fill rusty metal bookshelves and cover that overly-lacquered table at the front — dented from that time someone smacked it with their wheelchair in 1988. Yellowed pages with pencil lines, cracked bindings and broken spines, cover every corner of the place…

Feel our shared histories softly swirl together through old books and stamped checkout cards as you smile and soak up all the little library smells of

AWESOME!

Photos from: here and here

Comments Off

Filed under Uncategorized

#329 Twisting the lid off a jar after nobody else could

I used to hang out at Jean’s place.

Yes, back when I was in second grade and my sister Nina was in Kindergarten we spent our lunchtimes and after schools at a do-it-yourself daycare run by a leathery old woman named Jean. Her home was a cold and dark playground of plastic toys and Thundercats reruns and we spent hours and hours there for years and years.

At lunchtime the seven or eight kids she looked after crowded around a wobbly plastic table to dive into her famously greasy lunches. Grilled Cheez Whiz on buttery white bread, mayo-drenched tuna casseroles, and bologna and processed cheese sandwiches were a few of her faves. And Jean always capped each meal by pouring a big jar of apple sauce, syrupy peach slices, or fruit salad into little bowls for each of us.

I remember watching Jean try to open those jars like it was yesterday. Honestly, she’d be huffing and puffing till we thought she’d fall over. Sometimes she’d hold the jar under hot water, other times she’d twist it with a dish cloth, and then there was my favorite — the spectacularly loud bang-and-clang-the-lid-with-a-knife move, which we always suspected would result in a serving of pear halves sprinkled with shattered glass, but fortunately never did.

Poor Jean was surrounded a weak and wide-eyed army of tiny hands, spaghetti noodle arms, and saggy biceps. We couldn’t help her much but after watching her suffer for years we took firm blood oaths to help others open those tough-to-open jars whenever we could.

Yes, twisting the lid of the jar after nobody else could fills you with a strong sense of Superman Pride. Suddenly you’re Popeye, Mr. Universe, or The Incredible Hulk, beaming like a flashlight in front of the kitchen counter as you hand back a freshly opened jar of

AWESOME!

Photos from: here, here, and here

Comments Off

Filed under Uncategorized